Reducing Wasted Employee Time

Photo by Alan Cleaver

No nonprofit can afford to have employees waste time or effort.  No manager can expect employees to be 100% efficient either. Some time wasters can actually be rejuvenators according to an article on finding a productivity sweetspot by NICE Systems.

Where does the time go?

About 10 hours a week or more is wasted online in personal pursuits including social media, online games, and email. It might not be surprising to learn that the 2012 Time Wasting Survey from found that men are greater time wasters online than women and that the worst offenders are men ages 26-35. The justifications cited by employees range from the biggest reason: not challenged or long hours to the smallest reason: low pay.

What’s the solution?

Companies have tried banning access to social networking sites like Facebook and Linked in. Can you reduce wasted time and gain an hour a day? Experts in staffing say that one hour wasted would be optimal.

You may not be able to easily address the issue of challenging work, but you can address long hours by making sure that the amount of wasted effort is reduced. This is one of our main goals at TeamNFP. We recognize no software, even MIP Fund Accounting, is perfect. We focus on reducing those “wasted efforts” through our add-on products such as AR TM8 E-mailer. You can waste precious time and resources trying to get paid.

There’s another way you can reduce wasted effort and reduce employee frustration: use checklists. It seems simple but they can be a real time saver when it comes to making sure nothing falls through the cracks, cross training, and efficiency.  How can you get started? Read The Checklist Manifesto by Dr. Atul Gawande, M.D. The use of checklists has cut down on after surgery complications and reduced deaths in poor and rich hospitals where they are used. Astronauts use them to save lives as we see in the Sandra Bullock film Gravity.

They keep employees focused on the task and the process of putting them together and using them highlights potential areas of improvement. Maybe the best thing about a checklist is that it’s innocuous and non-threatening.

Checklists can be a little challenging to put together because it’s inevitable that those who do this task often will forget to write down an important step. The process brings people together and increases efficiency if you have those who don’t normally do this work see if they can do the task by following the checklist. Many great improvements have come out of this team work.

Try it and see for yourself!

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